Vladimir Putin is planning a uncommon abroad journey to Turkey subsequent month, the nation’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has revealed.
Mr Erdogan made the announcement throughout a press convention following talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Istanbul.
The Turkish president didn’t reveal additional particulars of the timing of the go to in August, however stated a possible prisoner swap settlement between Russia and Ukraine could be among the many points mentioned.
« I hope we are going to get a outcome from this quickly, » Mr Erdogan informed reporters within the early hours of Saturday morning.
« If we make some cellphone calls earlier than [the face-to-face meeting], we are going to focus on it on the decision as effectively, » he added.
Putin and Mr Erdogan beforehand held talks in Kazakhstan in October final yr.
Mr Zelenskyy stated he would look forward to the result of any prisoner trade deal earlier than commenting, however added: « We’re engaged on the return of our captives, political prisoners, Crimean Tatars.
« Our companions have all of the lists. We’re actually engaged on this. »
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The Russian president has not stepped foot in any NATO international locations since launching his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
In the course of the interval he has additionally solely made a handful of worldwide journeys, together with transient visits to Iran final July and shut ally Belarus in December.
Putin has grown more and more remoted amid ongoing Western sanctions, whereas the Worldwide Legal Courtroom (ICC) has issued a warrant for his arrest over warfare crimes allegations that Russia has unlawfully deported Ukrainian youngsters in the course of the warfare.
However regardless of the tensions, and Turkey’s membership of NATO, Mr Erdogan has strived to keep up relations with each Ukraine and Russia in the course of the battle.
Turkey has not joined in with Western financial sanctions, however has equipped arms to Ukraine and rejected Russian makes an attempt to annex its territory.
The ICC doesn’t have its personal police power and consultants have performed down the prospects of Putin being arrested anytime quickly, saying he couldn’t be taken into custody on overseas soil with out the cooperation of a state’s authorities.
Mr Erdogan has been eager to forged himself as a mediator within the warfare, together with serving to to dealer a deal final yr to enable the secure export of grain from Ukrainian ports by way of the Black Sea.
The present model of the settlement is because of expire on 17 July, however the Turkish chief stated work was ongoing to increase it.
In the course of the press convention Mr Erdogan additionally backed Ukraine’s bid to hitch NATO as soon as the warfare was over, and stated he would proceed efforts to attempt to negotiate an finish to the battle.
Putin’s go to to Turkey has not been confirmed by the Kremlin.
However spokesman Dmitry Peskov, talking to reporters earlier than Saturday’s press convention in Istanbul, stated: « As for forthcoming contacts between Putin and Erdogan, we don’t rule them out within the foreseeable future. »
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